Fresh off another frustrating end to the Philadelphia 76ers’ season, where they got eliminated in the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the third consecutive year, Joel Embiid didn’t hold back in his final press conference.
It’s been a wild season for Embiid, who took home his first NBA MVP award after years of being a finalist. Even his eventual playoff elimination game could have gone either way had the 76ers shown up in what resulted in a 24-point beatdown by the Boston Celtics. Still, win Game 7, and we’re talking about how Embiid and the 76ers are poised to reach the NBA Finals.
Instead, as Jayson Tatum dropped an NBA Playoff record 51 points, the 76ers stumbled, with Tobias Harris leading Philadelphia at 19 points. Neither Embiid nor Harden proved major factors when their team needed them the most. Embiid tallied 15 points, making 5-of-18 shots, and Harden wasn’t any better, with nine points while shooting 3-of-11 from the floor.
Yet, Embiid placed the blame on his teammates after the game, saying he and James Harden “can’t win alone.“
Embiid’s comments are sure to spark plenty of responses from the NBA community, especially since he posted a dud, despite winning MVP for his stellar play during the regular season. We’re also curious about who Embiid is targeting here.
His teammates? Is it coach Doc Rivers? Or even the 76ers’ front office, led by Daryl Morey, for not having a roster capable of getting past the Semifinals? No matter what, Embiid isn’t happy about his season ending, but it’s also hard not to wonder if he will take a moment to look in the mirror when the dust settles.